Musical theater is one of the most exciting and demanding professions in the performing arts. As a musical theater performer, you must possess strong technical skills in acting, voice, music, and dance and the ability to integrate these skills with ease, expressiveness, and versatility.
Our bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree program focuses on the development of your individual talents and abilities with the aim of helping you to discover your uniqueness as a musical theater artist. This rigorous program requires coursework in three areas of performance—singing, dancing, and acting—as well as foundations in liberal arts and theater history.
Musical theater students learn singing techniques to support all styles of theater music, from operetta to rock, with foundational coursework in music theory, sight singing, and piano. The dance studio offers four levels of ballet and jazz plus additional studies in tap, modern, and theater dance styles. The acting training incorporates scene study, dramatic theory, text analysis, speech, movement, and on-camera skills. All three areas are interwoven in musical theater performance classes, audition technique, cabaret, and participation in the many production opportunities available each semester.
The first year is the foundation for all future training. You will focus on techniques of acting, ballet, voice (both singing and speaking), sight singing, and dramatic theory. Although first-year students are not permitted to perform on stage for the public, you will have the opportunity to work on productions behind the scenes in a wide variety of jobs, ranging from running crews to assistant stage managing.
From the second year on, musical theater students may audition for roles in faculty-directed plays and musicals, co-productions with Syracuse Stage, scenes and plays directed by directing students, and films produced by film students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Advanced musical theater students may audition for and perform in Syracuse Stage productions in appropriate roles. Students may also understudy the professional actors. Equity points may be earned through work with Syracuse Stage.
The Department of Drama has a very limited number of spaces available for strong singer/actors who are not dancers within its B.F.A. acting program’s emphasis in musical performance, also known as the actor-singer emphasis. Interested students must prescreen for both the musical theater and acting programs. Learn more about the actor-singer emphasis.
Please note that the musical theater audition process will include the prescreening of applicants. Prescreening audition submissions will be accepted through November 15. Please see the audition requirements for additional information.